Affirmative Action is another hot button topic that manages to rile everyone up and get white people to cry out reverse racism. Recently it’s been in the news because Donald Trump is “encouraging the Department of Justice to investigate whether affirmative action results in racial discrimination against White and Asian American applicants to highly selective colleges and universities”. After the past 200 days of his administration with one blunder after another, he’s turned his attention towards affirmative action.
Affirmative Action is a policy in which a person’s race, sex, religion or origin are used in order to increase opportunities for an underrepresented portion of society. A few naysayers shout that in providing these opportunities to minorities it is, in turn, racist to others (i.e Whites and Asians). Reverse racism isn’t a thing and that cloud of “white oppression” hangs over that policy.
As mentioned in the above-mentioned article, research done at the University of Texas shows that “white and Asian American applicants were selected at a rate of 22 percent, whereas African Americans and Latinos were selected at rates of only 9 and 10 percent, respectively”. The university found itself embroiled in a lawsuit against Abigail Fisher, a teen that was rejected, in Fisher v. University of Texas, during which she stated that white people were being discriminated against under the current policy. The evidence above suggests that it is actually the opposite.
People who are against affirmative action are always going on about how in helping minorities you become racist to others and have painted a picture of how affirmative action works that couldn’t be further from reality. Their headlines state how minorities are given a leg up in the admission process, called the Black Bonus, in which an applicant with a sub par application will coast into a selective school over others with better applications. Minorities who are less qualified are not the ones who affirmative action helps but those that are, the policy only gives them an even playing field. These misleading thoughts that have no basis in facts threaten a policy that does a lot of good. Schools that participate in this policy seek only to make their campus more diverse. In a society where minorities are always at a disadvantage, affirmative action evens the playing field and allows them opportunities they wouldn’t, otherwise, have.
Over the past few decades, affirmative action has been at the forefront of many lawsuits but the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of it in the past, as seen in Fisher v. University of Texas and Grutter v. Bollinger. This policy only seeks to make college campus more reflective of our society but that now seems to be dangerous. Whites and Asians-Americans still have the largest presence on college campuses yet they want to get rid of the one thing that pressures some colleges into letting in minorities. The perceived racism of this policy doesn’t exist, and to get rid of it does more harm than good by providing further obstacles for the already disadvantaged.